The best spicy fries in the world?

Today’s skiing excursion to Alta (officially and locally pronounced AL-tuh, not ALL-tuh, Spanish language be damned) required a serious meal afterwards.  No baloney and cream cheese sandwich for this guy; I needed protein in the form of a burger.  I had hoped to hit up B&D Burger – their pastrami burger is one of the premiere grease bombs in the known universe, and their peanut butter shake is possibly the least healthy thing imaginable (served together, it’s very nearly a heart attack in a cardboard box).  Unfortunately for me but great for their employees, they were closed for Christmas Eve.  So too was the frozen custard palace of Highland Drive, Nielsen’s, which puts the Shake Shack to shame.

Fortunately, a little further south on Highland (2000 East) was the very open and very perky art-deco burger hut known as Eat-A-Burger (just north of Murray-Holladay Road, about 4800 South).  To enter Eat-A-Burger is to be visually assaulted by kitsch – the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are well-represented on the walls and in the finishing of the building itself.  Heck, when I was a kid, they even served the kids meals in cardboard containers in the shape of a fin-era Cadillac.

If all of this bothers you, use the drive-through (are you surprised?), but it’s worth braving a trip inside and dodging a few mewling children to order at the counter and bask in the glow of the unlimited free refills.  Along with your gallon of soda, consider purchasing a cheeseburger or Utah’s specialty in the burger department, a pastrami burger.  FYI – this isn’t going to be Katz’s quality, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well the greasy meat goes with the other greasy meat.  If you value your arteries, the cheese attaches itself to the thin-but-tasty burger equally well.  Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and special sauce will come along for the ride on your sesame seed bun.

Whatever you do, however, don’t miss the fries.  Advertised on the menu as “Utah’s Best,” these fresh cut spud slices are best when tossed with Eat-A-Burger’s proprietary spice rub, for an extra 30 cents.  These aren’t just any nasty dining-hall-style “spicy” fries – there’s actual pepper in them thar bucket, amongst other things.  Grab plenty of napkins and proceed with reckless abandon.  Don’t forget Utah’s contribution to the condiment world, either: for an extra quarter per container, the “fry sauce” is a thick ketchup-mayo synthesis, basically, and Eat-A-Burger’s is among the better versions.

My cheeseburger, spicy fries with sauce and Diet Coke(s) totaled $6.26, including tax.  I’m so happy I can’t even feel my burning quads.  

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